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DNP Nurse Anesthesia Personal Statement, Ballet Dancer, Cardiothoracic ICU (CTICU)

Updated: May 11

I became a nurse only after having given 16 years of my life to ballet. My patients and co-workers often suggest that I am ‘light on my feet’. It is not just the dance that turns the Operating Room into a performance for me: but the hiss of the ventilator, the rhythmic beeping of the monitor, the patient is prepped and draped. The spotlight is turned on illuminating the surgical site - the operative theater is set. The surgeon, poised to make his first incision, calls for brief time out to ensure that everyone starts on the down beat. I will always turn the OR into a classical ballet performance in my mind, and my heart could not be more set on becoming a CRNA and earning my DNP in Nurse Anesthesia at the University of XXXX, the only program to which I am applying. My family is established in Miami and this is where I would be able to perform at my highest level as a student of Nurse Anesthesia 24/7, with the full support of my family. I am postponing motherhood, until such time as it is convenient for my career in Nursing, since becoming a CRNA and getting some experience under my belt is my first priority.

As my career in Nursing has progressed, I have continually been drawn to the more complex areas of practice. Since I began in the Cardiothoracic ICU (CTICU) the learning curve has been especially steep, requiring a great deal of self-study, hard work and discipline. I thrive on the question of the precise, highly delicate balance of what is required in terms of medication, pain medication in particular. I crave the responsibility of working autonomously, as a valued member of the interdisciplinary team, saving and prolonging lives on a daily basis. Nothing excites me more than the idea of serving on a lifesaving team.

I am especially thankful to have been given the opportunity to shadow nurse anesthetists through a program at a local hospital and I consider this a pivotal moment in my decision to pursue Nurse Anesthesia. Seeing the anesthetist in action validated my feelings of wanting to become a CRNA, not only the rush of having to act quickly and efficiently for whatever may come at you, but the opportunity for compassion and kindness to people as the person in control at the head of the bed. I went to OB with one CRNA to assist with an emergent C-section. The patient’s husband was not allowed in the operating room yet. Tears were streaming down her face and she was trembling with fear as everyone around her rushed to get her prepped and get the baby out. I was the only one talking to her and comforting her.

Several years ago, my father was diagnosed with a rare cancer that had a 3% 5-year survival rate; going from a competitive hockey player and bike racer to being frail and bedridden. His treatment was successful, however, and he is now cancer free. Nothing makes me prouder than to have had a share in taking care of so many details related to his treatment. I thank God each day for my dad’s new lease on life. My joy fills me for another shift giving my all at the hospital, caring for everyone as if they were also my family. Waiting in the pre-op area, my fear and tension was overwhelming as my father was wheeled into his 14-hour surgery and I did not know if I would ever hear his voice again. The CRNA sat with the whole family patiently explaining how my father was being made as comfortable as possible. At one point, she made us laugh, helping us to deal with the stress. I think of her often with great fondness and hope very much to do so again on the day that I received notification of my acceptance to Nurse Anesthesia at the University of XXXX.

I have always been fascinated by medicine and the numerous ways it can help people. Even as a child, I preferred watching televised surgeries to anything else on TV. I would dissect cow hearts and kidneys purchased at the local store. In high school, I applied to and was selected for a competitive 2-year medical preparation course. One significant part of the program was shadowing a nurse practitioner. I quickly knew then that I wanted to become an advanced practice nurse.

I would eventually like to focus my energies on the subspecialty of Cardiothoracic Surgery and become an expert in this field, participating in research to optimize outcomes, sharing my knowledge by serving as a mentor and lecturing - truly serving as a leader in the field. This helps to explain why I am preparing for CRNA school by taking graduate courses in Statistics as well as Anatomy & Physiology; both courses will be completed by the time that I register at the University of XXXX.

I have also taken a course in the area of Spanish for Medical Professionals and I plan to continue to study hard in Spanish over the course of the next few years to raise my competency to the level of full professional fluency. For some time now I have cultivated links with my local Spanish-speaking community and I foresee continuing to do so as a volunteer and a CRNA responding to the needs of the underserved in particular, so many of whom feel most comfortable seeking care in this language.

I thank you for considering my application to Nurse Anesthesia at the University of XXXX.

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